Anderson, Sir John, 1882-1958

Anderson was a very influential figure in CHURCHILL’s Cabinet and had been British Home Secretary in CHAMBERLAIN’s cabinet. His name became a household word when he introduced a scheme to build special steel shelters—called the Anderson shelter—to protect 20,000,000 people in 1940. As Lord Privy Seal, he was responsible for air-raid precautions and national voluntary service. From 1940-43 Anderson was Lord President of the Council, and sat on the Manpower Committee which had to decide manpower priorities. He also sat on a committee which examined policymaking in all government departments. From 1943-45 he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and was responsible for introducing the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) system of income tax collection, which had been devised by his predecessor Sir Kingsley WOOD. He was also put in charge of Tube Alloys, the atomic bomb project. Anderson’s job essentially was to run home affairs smoothly while Churchill ran the war. He performed his job well and unobtrusively.

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